Which way to turn?

When I first became a mom, I never thought of it as a difficult task.

I was 10 when my brother was born. I was old enough to help feed him and by 11 I could cloth diaper a baby like nobody's business. I was not required to do these things, but I did like to help. I was also old enough to remember the steps my parents took when my baby brother was sick.

A few years after he was born I began to babysit. Not only my brother, my other children in the neighborhood. After high school, I spent 2 summers working in day care. After college, I spent many more years working in day care full time.

These years of experience taught me how to care for children. Day care cannot prepare you for those middle of the night feedings, but I felt well prepared to handle the rest.

I was not one to call the doctor for every sniffle or fever. I may have called for advice, but I would not press for my child to be seen unless they still were not better after 2 days of over the counter medications. I panicked when my daughter had her first asthma attack, but having watched my brother go through similar experiences, I still knew what to do. Having my mom with me that day didn't hurt either.

My children are now older, and I still am not one to fuss over every little thing. I do not jump and run when they fall. I let them climb every slide at the playground, as well as the surrounding trees. I know what to do at home when my daughter has asthma issues. I also know when to call the doctor for her asthma.

I am not one to worry, but this is beginning to change.

For quite a few days, my son, who is 6, has been complaining of a belly ache. Mostly in the mornings before school. I have talked to him many times asking if something is going on at school. He can tell me and I won't be mad. I can't fix it if I don't know. His only reply is his belly hurts.

Since he has no other symptoms and is usually fine by the end of the day, unless I mention his tender belly, I send him to school. The papers he brings home are full of check marks and stars. He always tells me who he played with and sometimes, if I'm lucky, what he learned in class.

I thought about emailing his teacher or sending a note asking for a conference. My brother pulled this stunt on my mom more times than I can count. I don't want my child to not want to go to school.

The husband was out of town and perhaps that was related. I decided to keep an eye on my boy to see if his belly ache continues. But now he has another symptom to add to the list. His head.

When sitting in the back of the class, his head hurt when he touched it. I asked where. Behind his ear. Did he bump it? Did he fall? No, he answered.

Perhaps he needs glasses. I know that's inevitable. But why would his head hurt when he touched it?

I am at a loss. I don't know which way to turn. Do I talk with his teacher? Perhaps something in class is causing him grief. Do I call the doctor and hope they don't brush me away because of a silly belly ache?

pour your heart out


Oka said...

I don't see anything wrong with covering both basis. If the doctor brushes you off, he/she isn't a very compassionate doctor (I don't care how busy he/she is). It's not like you would be rushing him in after one complaint.

The teacher may not know anything now, by confronting her/him, she/he could make sure the radar is on. I can't imagine a teacher would want him to be suffering any anxiety, if that is what it is.

Kmama said...

I would make a doctor's appointment just to get everything checked out. The doc could press on his belly and make sure, structurally, that everything is okay.

It could just be anxiety, but the spot behind his ear worries me. I would have that checked as well. Poor guy.

Renegades said...

It's hard to know what to do and I think as a parent you just have to go with your gut feeling.

Chantel said...

We have quite similar life-lines. I was a nanny out of college as I wanted to avoide teaching--lol, too much homework! Then a few years global working in health clinics & orphanges as a missionary, and then a decade in day-care. You sound like you have a steady hand and solid reason. Knowing the moment action is needed is crucial. As Renegades said, go with your gut--if you ignore it and there is something there that appears later, well--I've had a hard time forgiving myself when that's happened.

Shell said...

Might as well talk to the teacher and the doctor.

With my boys, sometimes they tend to say yes to questions I ask just b/c they don't know how else to phrase it. Like his head hurts no matter what, so yes, it hurts when he touches it, that sort of thing.

I used to be laidback and I'm losing a lot of that lately.

A Mother's Thoughts said...

Hmm, I would definately make a doctors appointment to rule out something really being wrong. After that has been ruled out then, the teacher perhaps. If there were something wrong at school that the teacher was aware of, I assume that she would have called you already. Does he complain about his stomach after he has had breakfast or the instant that he wakes up?

Katie said...

I used to do the same thing, because I was bored at school. I got the material quickly, and didn't have anything else to do, so I wanted to be home. Finally, someone (and I don't know who, I was little) caught on, and my teacher found extra materials/books/etc. and I started liking school. I'm only mentioning this because you said he is doing well on his school work, so maybe he is in the same boat. And at that age, you don't know to say, I'm bored, you just think that's what school is, so you don't want to go.